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What Are the Uses of Acidophilus for Dogs?

A dog.
Acidophilus can be beneficial for puppies as well as adult dogs.
Dry dog food can be fortified with acidophilus.
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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 July 2014
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Acidophilus is a strain of good bacteria, often called probiotics, needed for healthy digestion and immune function in both humans and animals. One common reason for using acidophilus for dogs is to help ease digestion issues, such as constipation or gas, that may be occurring in the pet. If a dog does not receive enough valuable and natural probiotics in its diet, a veterinarian or pet nutritionist might prescribe acidophilus supplements. Since probiotics such as acidophilus can help increase the function of the immune system, some dog owners use acidophilus for dogs and puppies during times of light sickness.

When a dog's diet is not ideal, or the dog cannot digest the food being consumed properly, many veterinarians prescribe what are known as probiotics. The most common probiotics for dogs is acidophilus, which is a certain strain of probiotics that is important for intestinal health and overall well-being. If digestion is poor and the dog is experiencing constipation or chronic gas, this can lead to improper absorption of nutrients from the food and eventually a nutritional deficiency in some animals. Using acidophilus for dogs is sometimes the first step in resolving digestion issues, in both natural and conventional veterinarian clinics.

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Dogs and puppies who do not consume a proper diet for whatever reason may not consume enough probiotics to keep their intestinal tracts healthy. Diets high in processed grains and starches, which are common with many dry dog foods, contribute small amounts of probiotics, if any, unless fortified with natural probiotics like acidophilus. It isn't uncommon to see acidophilus for dogs available in food form, to avoid the problems that might occur when attempting to have a dog swallow a pill or consume a foreign liquid supplement. Sometimes, it is suggested that certain vegetables, like broccoli or carrots, can contain necessary probiotics, yet amounts are still quite low in these foods.

Healthy dogs can produce their own beneficial bacteria, so acidophilus for dogs may not be an issue depending on other factors. These factors may include the use of antibiotics for infections, as antibiotics can deplete the dog's body of this good bacteria. This is another reason why some veterinarians advise using an acidophilus supplement or fortified probiotic food to replenish the dog's stores. When a dog experiences a light sickness that requires merely rest to recover, it might be recommended that acidophilus or another probiotic be consumed by the dog, as probiotics have been shown to increase immune system function.

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